Whether you are feeding your baby with infant formula or expressed breast milk, it's important to make sure you have all of the right equipment. Here are some things to consider.
What You Will Need:
- Your baby's milk - infant formula or expressed breast milk
- Bottles with caps and discs
- Knife, if formula feeding as it is used to level formula - this shouldn't be sharp
- Cooled, boiled water, if formula feeding
- Bottle brush
- Sterilising equipment.
Choosing The Right Bottle And Teat:
- Choose bottles that have leak-proof caps and discs. It's a good idea to have at least 3 large bottles on hand
- Plastic bottles are a better option than glass as they don't break as easily
- Make sure plastic bottles are BPA-free - as these are free from harmful chemicals
- Bottles should have a smooth surface inside so they can easily be cleaned
- Use bottles which have clearly marked measurements that won't wear off over time.
There are a variety of teats available. You will find brown coloured teats (made of rubber also known as latex) and clear coloured teats (made of silicone).
Most teats are labelled according to age. Make sure you use a teat that is made for your baby's age.
Here are some other things to consider:
- There is no evidence suggesting that one teat is better than another, it's just what your baby prefers
- 'Orthodontic' teats aren't any better than regular teats and they may not be good for later tooth development
- There's no evidence to support claims by manufacturers that a particular teat will help with certain problems, such as colic
- Teats are prone to perishing and should be checked regularly for any cracks. If damaged these should be replaced as they can harbour bacteria.
- You may need to try a few different teats with your baby until you find one which has a suitable flow rate for them
- The size of the hole will determine the flow of the teat - larger holes mean a faster flow and smaller holes a slower one
- Flow rate can be tested by turning a bottle of room-temperature milk upside down. The milk should drip at a steady rate, but not stream out
- If the teat is too fast-flowing your baby may splutter or choke on the milk. If it is too slow, they may get tired of sucking and not finish their feed
- If you can't find the ideal teat for your baby, one with a faster flow is usually preferable than a slower one
- Your baby's preference may change as they get older, stick to what they prefer.